TUR ABDIN – Six Syriac organizations held a joint fundraising this Sunday to raise money for fire extinguishers for Syriac villages and monasteries in the Tur Abdin Region of Beth Nahrin – Mesopotamia. Every summer, the Tur Abdin region is plagued by fires devouring farmland, orchards and vineyards of the Tur Abdin Syriacs most of whom practice subsistence farming or sell their products to local markets in Midyat and Mardin.
Fires in hot summers can be ignited by a simple glass shard, cigarette butts or intentionally set. In similar fires last year, various fires in Tur Abdin destroyed the olive groves of the Deir al-Zafaran monastery and farmers’ wheat and barley crops causing losses of the years harvest, impacting the livelihoods of Syriac farmers.
The fundraising was a joint effort by Syriac cultural and civil umbrella organizations DETA, ESU, HSA, ZAVD, SÜDEF, and ZOCD*. The fundraising was live on Syriac tv-channel Suroyo TV and donors could participate via phone and social media. The supporting organizations each took one fire extinguisher at a cost of around EUR 500 for their account. With the support of Syriacs all over the world, the goal of 40 of these fire extinguishers was achieved, and above. The two Syriac Orthodox dioceses of Sweden together made donations for five fire extinguishers.
*The participating organizations were HSA (Huyodo Suryoyo Almanya / Federation of Syriacs in Germany), ZAVD (Zentralverband der Assyrischen Vereinigungen in Deutschland / Umbrella Association of Assyrian Associations in Germany), ESU (European Syriac Union), DETA (Dachverband der Entwicklungsvereine Tur Abdin / Association for the Development of Tur Abdin), ZOCD (Zentralrat Orientalischer Christen in Deutschland. Association of Oriental Christians in Germany), SÜDEF (Süryani Dernekler Federasyonu. Federation of Syriac Associations in Turkey), and Suroyo TV.